Tag Archives: NYC

Vulkan the Krusader interview

I conducted this in-depth interview with New York artist Vulkan the Krusader. Vulkan is one of my favourite rappers right now; his progressive production, emotionally honest lyrical content, and mature sound make him one of NYC’s best prospects. It’s obvious from his answers that he is cut from a different cloth then many modern day emcees. We covered quite a few topics, including Vulkan’s childhood influences, vendettas, and upcoming musical projects.

How did you choose “Vulkan the Krusader” as your stage name? Did you go through any other names before deciding on Vulkan the Krusader?

Naw, I got the name when I was 15 in High School, it really has nothing to do with music actually, basically Vulkan was spaced out like I was in High school but it was mostly cuz I had a short fuse and in Vulkan means Volcano in Spanish. The Krusader part is basically from a friend who was a graph writer who said I spoke like some sort of Crusader when I talked. The big ears and Mr. Spock reference is always there though, which is why it got me heated as a kid.

What sort of music did you grow up with before getting into hip-hop?

I grew up as child in the 80’s and teen in the 90’s and a grown man in this new millennium. My father played 80’s music all the time when I grew up, my mother played a lot of Spanish ballads. My father use to break dance and the first hip-hop song I remember listening to was “Planet Rock”. My father called it Disco Music. I love all 80’s era, House music, new wave stuff. That’s the shit that really hits my upbringing.

Do you come from a musically conscious family?

My Father is the least musically inclined person, but he loves music just as do I. My mom wasn’t that into music either, but she was as good a dancer as my father. Music is in my blood though; my grandfather is a flamenco guitarist who has written over 10,000 songs for my grandma (laughs). He is really something to watch on that guitar. My dad’s family is rich with musical performers; my uncle Carlos and uncle Chico had a band that kind of was like “Los Angeles Negros” of Nicaragua. My Uncles played lead guitar and drums. My dad was the only one who didn’t play anything, he was more into cars and mechanics but was always around them when they played and got play, feel me.

What artists inspired you to start rapping?

Honestly it was A Tribe Called Quest. It started with them; as a child listening to them I thought, “I can do this”. As a kid I was a great performer and poet. I used to do this stupid stand up routine for my book reports in front of the class. I was never stage shy or any of that. I would always try to be the lead in a play or be the leader of the pack when it came to organizing drama. Even of the basketball court I was trying to take the lead. So when it came to rapping I was also a center of attention in my high school, as I had amazing rapid fire flow and everyone wanted to battle me when wasn’t playing basketball or doing hood rat shit with my friends.

 When did you first start rapping?

High School, I was known as that dude in rapping back then, The Miami rap scene was really small. I an Eminem’ish flow back then (laughs), but see, I was living that life back then as well. Very chaotic times for me as a teenager. I was part of the cool kids, but at the same time I didn’t want to be a cool kid. High School was the battle days, I could not write a song to save my soul though, I kinda knew this about myself when I rhymed. I knew that battle rhymes really didn’t last in the industry.

Where do you draw inspiration for you music?

Life man, the ever changing prospect of challenges we face as men in this world. I’m coming into this late, and probably at the prime of my musical ability. I’m Danny Brown’s age (laughs) feel me? So it comes with a mature touch but at the same time I’m having fun while I make the music. My inspiration is those moments where you ask yourself, “Can I do it?”, “Can I change the world, even when the world don’t wanna change?” “Can I become successful?”, “Can my family respect the craft?” Money is never the motive but you damn sure need to get paid for your art. I’m just a small time artist trying to get his share of the pie in this world. And of course my inspiration is also the lifestyle I lead of course; I live in a very small circle of people, all trying to get on, all stepping over each other, trying to grab the same thing. The problem is, most of them don’t know see that they aren’t built for it. My inspiration is the basis, simple human emotions of fear, anger, love, despair, vanity, and lunacy.

I find it difficult to categorize your style with one label. How would you describe yourself as an artist?

I’m what you get when you mix Depeche Mode, Wu-Tang, Three 6 Mafia and fully functioning entertaining delivery.

You talk about a possible criminal past in your music; “selling cocaine in the Miami tropics”. Did you deal or is this just a lyrical device?

That’s just me telling you what Miami Lifestyle is about in a more raw form, I ain’t no dealer or nothing like that. Lets just say I was a broker and enabler in my time in Miami.

Your lyrical content is really diverse, yet you always stay true to “for fun sake”. Can you explain what the “for fun sake” philosophy means and where is came from?

That’s my affiliation in Brooklyn New York, the 4FUNSET founded by my friend Hood Chef, just a rag tag crew of nobodies who all rap pretty good. Other than it being a group of friends who rap, the ideals behind it are more true; just be yourself and have fun with what you do. In essence that’s what it means to me when I say it. I do it all, it’s an astronaut’s way of living.

Your album “V for Vendetta” features a lot of samples from the movie “V for Vendetta”. What inspired you to do this? Do you see yourself as similar to V from the movie?

You hit on something not a lot of people capture from that, I do look at myself like him. A man no one knows about, a man against a machine, that is an idea, not just flesh and bone. A man who, by himself, can take the industry by force, and believes in himself, staying true to his morals and respect code. The one who is not afraid, the one wallows in a agony at times, but also the one who brings faith and joy to the masses. In this, I find myself the hip-hop equivalent to the man they called “V”. His mask plays a vital role in what I think is going on in hip-hop. I was looking at New York City wondering, “what is this?” Only a few artist I knew had it in them, another sub group of nobodies who became the revolutionaries, like my friend Rakim (A$AP Rocky) or Worldsfair from Queens who been hustling since god knows when, Action who was a chef, or Mr. Muthafucking Esquire who was dogged for years by the industry and even more to come. Rocky kicking down the door, was the start of a revolution. I’m happy it’s here for everyone to witness. We are the dreamers of the dreams and the creators of imagination now. I don’t have a spotlight yet, but I’m sure my hard work will pay off one day. Or I’ll have to resort to terrorist tactics like V for Vendetta (laughs).

You talk about your distaste for the music industry as it is today; “Industry people are fucking shady”. Can you elaborate on this?

I know many people in the music industry who don’t’ take chances. One guy I really believe in is Nigil Mack from Univeral; he believes in progression. The Industry changes people as well, makes people paranoid. Makes people feel like everyone is fake, but in their hearts they know who’s real and who’s not. Sometimes the music that is picked up comes from artist who really ain’t gonna last for a long time. I feel like at times they don’t know what the fuck they doing. But hey, like I said, a lot of my friends finally got recognition, so the change is here, and now more and more, diverse emcee’s and hip hop acts are proving, “hey we can make money, we work hard, we wanna feed our families, Just give me the platform my nigga”. Other than that, the music is a shady grey area where money makes the heart evil at times.

 

The first track of V for Vendetta features a track by BSBD. Do you plan on collaborating with them in the future?

I’ve loved Blue Sky Black Death so long, I asked Kingston if he can take certain part of the noir album and loop some things so I can rap on them. I’m all about progressive, melodic, harmonious and triumphant sounding music. I will be working with them on something very soon, I might release something with some of their sounds next month.

What do you think about the current state of hip-hop, specifically the NYC scene?

The NYC scene is great right now. All my friends are getting their just dues from great art they have made and are leading the new generation into the right direction. The artistic integrity is there again, the production is better and the song writing is amazing right now. I love where its’ going, I can only hope my upcoming projects get that love and stamp of approval I need to really make an impact in peoples lives. 

How important are music blogs to you personally and for hip-hop?

They are the world to me, I make music I like myself feel me? Like I listen to my shit over and over cuz I like it. So I’ve been on some pretty big blogs, here and there, but not a full on love session on release day or anything like that. I’m still very unknown and paying my dues. They are very important, from Smoking Section to Onsmash, to 2dopeboyz, to getting music out there. I’m more into Fader and Pitchfork because my sound is so diverse and I also listen to shit other than hip-hop. But those music outlets will define where you go in the world. I just need to release the material and hope it gets to the right hands, so I can put on a amazing display of hand gestures on stage when I rap.

What has been the hardest part of being a rapper?

Dealing with people on an everyday basis and dealing with failure and dealing with the dreaded gas face you get when people roll their eyes (laughs). There’s a million of them in NYC, so being new is like, a fighting battle with a giant beast. There’s alot of bullshit out there. I find it hard nowadays to reach out to my friends who are on, and get some insight from them, but its all grind bro. Real nigga shit. The hardest thing is being heard, that’s it.

 

What is your favorite part of being a rapper?

Creating is my favorite part, shooting visuals, making a dope song with a dope chorus, or an amazing beat. That’s my favorite part, that right there is my love for it. I love performing, I love listening to music, I love the whole creation process and what it gives me; the freedom of being myself and inspiring others, or just making you mad or feeling great about a song. Triumph is what I want. When I get that, my favorite part will be throwing hundreds into a crowd.

What has been the single greatest moment of your rap career?

I haven’t experienced it yet, to be honest, I want greatness I just need to work for it, cuz I hear greatness when I record.

Who to look out for today, locally and nationally?

Without saying the Astronauts (4FUNSET) Vinny D’Wayne, Dom O Briggs, Scienze, A$AP Nast & Ferg, Twelvy,J eff Donna, Cody B. Ware, Skotch Davis, Noah Caine, Slim Dollars, Rich- P,L.A.,OG Chess, and Beautiful Lou. Production wise, I would say BBR+, Ryan Hemsworth, DA, Kodak to Graph, and DJ Buttamilk my right hand man.

What are you currently working on?

I didn’t get to release visuals for V for Vendetta cuz my father is was sick, but now everything’s cool and I can finally get to making these visuals, might even make one for the Lucy Naive mix tape. I’m releasing a song Praise very soon where I rap over some Purity Ring and working on the third project called V that drops Valentines day, next year V-DAY.

Information on Vulkan the Krusader can be found below (click links to be redirected):

https://twitter.com/Vulkanthemighty

http://www.facebook.com/vulkanmusic

http://vulkanthekrusader.bandcamp.com/

http://www.youtube.com/user/vulkanthekrusader

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David Heartbreak interview

You guys are in for something extra special; the first EDM artist to be featured on Music Miner. David Heartbreak was kind enough to do an interview via Skype. I’ll admit my knowledge of EDM is quite rudimentary, but speaking with David gave me a whole knew perspective on the genre. He does a fantastic job of explaining what different genres of music are on such a fundamental level that even a person with no understanding of musical composition or production can grasp the subtle differences between moombahton and fidget. David’s attitude on musical exploration inspired me to expand my horizons.

Where did the stage name “David Heartbreak” come from?

It’s pretty much just a pun on my real name, David Hart. Pretty self-explanatory.

What sort of music did you grow up with?

I grew up with primarily hip-hop. R&B, ambient music like soul and reggae, things of that nature. That’s pretty much it.

Are your parents supportive of your musical pursuits?

Ya. The future bass and the ambient stuff like that they’ll actually listen to, but they are pretty much closed off from dubstep, electro, anything with organized noise.

Your parents seem like they are in the group of people who don’t see dubstep real music. How would you disprove this false notion?

The thing about dubstep is that if you change the instruments and swap them out with something else and listen, it is very well written. You can see that from the orchestrated versions of Skrillex. The only difference is they choose different instruments, it’s all the same thing.

Nowadays, you make music from a wide variety of genres. What genre did you start with?

The first music I actually got into making was moombahton, which was my introduction to electronic music.

What exactly is moombahton?

It has changed at this point, but the moombahton started out as dutch house and then Dave slowed it down to 108 BPM. From there, you have people like myself, Munchi, Pickster, and Sabo. We came along and pretty much added our styles to it and ran with it from there. It’s electronic music with a Latin or Reggae vibe, or now that dubstep came, cats are doing it as dubstep at 110 BPM. It’s pretty much the same stuff you make with other genres but it’s at that tempo. Some songs that you make don’t work at 130 BPM but they’ll work perfectly at 110 BPM; there is more space in between the drums so it actually hits harder, the same way dubstep hits harder at 140 then it does at 128; more space for the bass to hit and you can fit more noise in there…if that makes any sense.

What caused you to move towards EDM and away from hip-hop?

I got bored. I never produced hip-hop; I was just big on the hip-hop scene. It was my background for listening to music. Three years ago (before I started making EDM) I was very close-minded to a lot of music. When the moombahton came along, it just opened my mind up to electronic music, and I felt like an ass,  like, “Damn, I’ve been missing out on so much good music for all this time”. It was a slap on the wrist for me, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise; everything happens for a reason.

Rapper Deniro Farrar has rapped over several of your songs. How would you classify those tracks?

The stuff that he was rapping on, that’s the stuff I call future bass. You can call it hip-hop, you can call it post-dubstep. The main influence for that style is trance music. I was trying to recreate trance at 140 BPM, but I wasn’t a good enough producer at the time to actually pull off what I was trying to do. I just changed the drum pattern around; that’s how those tracks came about. People liked it; it’s not something for the club, but it’s music that you can listen five years from now and it’s still going to sound just as good.

You clearly have extensive knowledge of musical composition and theory. Did you pick this up in school or on your own?

This is stuff I picked up on my own listening to music twenty hours a day. Sleeping with iPods, iPhones, and iPads. Like I said, I’ve only been making electronic music for two and a half years, and that’s the main reason why I can’t make one genre; my brain won’t allow me to because it’s been deprived of so much music over the years and when I hear different stuff, it sparks something in me that makes me want to replicate it and add my own flavor. This process happens every week; every week I’m changing genres. It’s a good thing and it is a bad thing, but when it comes down to it, it’s what I want to do. Even when I DJ I don’t play more than fifteen minutes of the same genre; I’m all over the place. I try to tell a story with my sets; I’ll go from dubstep to hard electro to moombahton to trap to psychedelic trance. That’s why I change it up when I make music. I mean, I like pizza, but I don’t want to eat that shit every day. I think that this attitude will become a standard in the next year or so; you are going to expect more from your favorite artists. You will expect them to have a collage of music and not just one style. The kids (and myself) have ADD. Because of this, you have to be able to touch every audience. I listen to everything; right now I’m working on a metal track. My friend is in a metal band, and I listened to his stuff and it was pretty good. I know that when I go to recreate it, I’m not a drummer and I’m not a guitarist, but I can elements of it and apply it to what I do and make it Heartbreak. When you recreate a genre in your own way, you have to make sure you are making it correctly so that you aren’t disrespecting the genre. 

You have only been DJing for two and a half year and have already worked with Skrillex, Diplo, and other huge DJs. What do you think made you blow up so quickly?

People are always looking for something different. That’s pretty much what it is. Everybody is looking for that spark. If you are a DJ you are always looking for the next sound. When the moombahton came out, that sparked a lot of people who were searching for something different. There wasn’t anything poppin at that tempo (108-112BPM) except for hip-hop and slow Brittany Spears records and stuff like that. It was uncharted, nothing really going on there. If you bumped it up a couple BPMs you had fidget, but a lot of people moved away from that, so it was totally open. We came along with moombah soul and moombah core and all these other subgenres and stuff like that. After doing so much stuff at that BPM, I got bored. If it is no longer challenging then I’ll move away from it. We had done everything there was to do with moombahton; we traveled the world and set the standard. I’ve not put out a record at that speed in awhile, although I think I’m going to put out an EP at that speed in September just to let people know I still got it. You’ve got to grow as an artist; some people want you to make the same shit over and over and over and over again. So as you progress and gain renown, you’re gunna to lose fans you’re gunna gain fans, but you still got to make music for yourself. I don’t follow trends; I try to set trends. One thing about the internet that is good is that you can hear music from every continent, but one thing that is bad is that some people sit around and listen to soundcloud and Youtube all day chasing somebody else’s sound. Chasing a sound that somebody made months ago; just because you hear a record today doesn’t mean that it was made last week. You can never catch up to the current “trend” so what’s the point? I don’t chase sounds, I just make music. Some shit I make is good, some shit I make is bad; I just keep pumping it out till I find it.

What is the hardest part of being a musician?

Moving from the hip-hip scene to the EDM world. A lot of people on both sides don’t think it’s that hard, but it is. Hip-hop is basically complex simplicity; everything is in the right place. In that respect it is the same as EDM, but when you are making EDM beats the beat has to be strong enough to stand by itself. In hip-hop you have three-fourths noise and the rapper is the final instrument. As a result, with EDM you have to know about frequencies and where things sit and compression; it’s a whole different ball game. It took me a couple months but I got it now.

What is your favorite part of being a musician?

Right now, traveling. Dude, I’ve been everywhere. Only places I haven’t been are Japan and Africa. I’ve been to Asia, Europe, India, you name it.

What does the future hold for David Heartbreak?

A lot. I’m real quite about stuff because things change like the wind in the EDM game, so you don’t want to blurt out shit until you get the contract in your hand and it goes down. I got a lot of big shit coming. When I tell you big I mean like… SUPER big.

Information on David Heartbreak can be found below (click links to be redirected):

https://twitter.com/Davidheartbreak

http://www.facebook.com/davidheartbreak

http://soundcloud.com/david-heartbreak/

http://www.davidheartbreak.com

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Adrian Lau interview

I got a chance to interview one of my favorite up-and-coming rappers Adrian Lau. While relatively unknown at the moment, Adrian shows a lot of promise, making appearances on MTV Rapfix and collaborating with big-name producer Harry Fraud. Because he lives in New York, we had to conduct the interview via the internet. You are going to be seeing a lot more of Adrian in the months to come.

What sort of music did you grow up with before you discovered hip-hop?

My parents listened to a bunch of whack shit. Honestly, I can’t remember listening to much music before rap; I bought my first DMX album when I was like 7 and it was hip-hop everything from there on out.  I just recently started listening to other music a lot when I started making beats.

How did you first get turned on to rap music?

Going to public school in Brooklyn.

When did you first start rapping?

19.

 

Who was the MC who really inspired you to begin rapping?

Eminem.

Has your family been supportive of your musical pursuits?

Yea, they are both in film so they are into that art life.

When did you begin to realize that you had something that people wanted to hear and that your rap could be something more than just a hobby?

I haven’t had that realization quite yet (laughs).

Known associates?

Harry Fraud and the surf school crew. My dude Eddie B raps and Red Walrus Rico and Asher are the young consigliore’s.

Tell us about you’re producer Harry Fraud. How did you two meet and when did you begin collaborating?

That’s the big homie. We only been working for a little over a year now but we’ve made some ill records and he has a crazy ability to envision different things for every artist he works with. We both love smoking weed and met through pot friends.

How did it feel to be featured on MTV with Lupe Fiasco without even dropping an EP?

Pretty dope. I’ve worked hard but I’m also very lucky for opportunities like that.

What has been the hardest of being a rapper?

Not making lots money off it.

How would your life be different without your music?

It would be a different life altogether.

How do you feel about todays rap scene, specifically that of New York?

I think there’s a lot of dope shit out, but I think the public focus is on the wrong music. NY is holding it down as always though; A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, and a few others are all getting good press and they’re ill.

What can we expect from your first mixtape Surf School?

One self produced tape and one harry produced tape. Not sure how many songs for either one though. All I know is that the one with harry is sounding trippy as fuck. I brought nothing but my best for those records.

What does the future hold for Adrian Lau?

Hopefully money and bitches. Oh, and spiritual enlightenment to.

Information on Adrian Lau can be found below (click links to be redirected):

https://twitter.com/AdrianLauNY

http://www.facebook.com/adrian.lau.146?ref=ts

http://www.youtube.com/user/AdrianLny

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